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Tumour Biol. 2014 Jul;35(7):6679-85. doi: 10.1007/s13277-014-1883-3. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Astrocyte elevated gene-1 activates MMP9 to increase invasiveness of colorectal cancer.

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Department of Pathology, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 150 Haping Road, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, 150081, China.


The molecular mechanism underlying the invasiveness of colorectal cancer (CRC) cells remains largely unknown. Here, we found that astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) was significantly upregulated in CRC tissues, compared with the adjacent normal tissues from human patients. Ectopic expression of AEG-1 enhanced the invasive ability of CRC cells, while small interfering RNA (siRNA)-induced knockdown of AEG-1 inhibited the invasive ability of CRC cells. Transcription, protein levels, and secretion of matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), all increased by AEG-1 overexpression in CRC cells, and all decreased by AEG-1 inhibition. Suppression of endogenous MMP9 abrogated the effects of AEG-1 on invasiveness, without affecting AEG-1 levels. Taken together, these findings suggest that AEG-1 contributes to CRC invasiveness and metastasis by enhancing MMP9 activity. Thus, AEG-1 appears to be a novel therapeutic target for preventing the metastasis of CRC.

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